In a statement posted on Twitter on Sunday, November 20, one day after The Times UK broke the story about Porter, the 25-year old Tallaght native wrote that he was “completely taken aback” by recent media reports regarding his alleged behaviour.
“I have been completely taken aback by reports in the media and on the social networks over the weekend, and by the scale and tone of the vitriol,” wrote Porter.
“While my conduct, which had been in keeping with my flamboyant and outrageous public persona may be regarded as offensive and unacceptable by many people, I at no time intended to upset anyone.
— Al Porter (@TheAlPorter) November 19, 2017
“Up until now, I had been unaware of these complaints or the impact of my conduct and I am truly sorry for any distress I may have caused in what I had regarded as light-hearted and good-natured circumstances.
“Although, on legal advice, I cannot comment on specific allegations at the present time, I nonetheless sincerely apologise to anyone I may have genuinely offended.”
“I am very grateful to Today FM, the Olympia Panto and TV3 for the space and time I’ve been granted to deal with the situation. I have however come to the personal decision that I need time away from the spotlight after decades in the entertainment industry. I have informed Today FM that I am resigning from the station with immediate effect.”
Porter’s apology has not been positively received by his alleged victims. “’The tone of the vitriol.’ That’s amazing,” tweeted Conor O’Toole, who told The Times UK that Porter groped him at Dublin’s Ha’penny Bridge comedy club. “My apologies to Al Porter for calmly and accurately describing my experience. Wow. Sorry I was a bad victim bud”
‘The tone of the vitriol.’ That’s amazing. My apologies to Al Porter for calmly and accurately describing my experience. Wow. Sorry I was a bad victim bud https://t.co/ztHNadzV9w https://t.co/ztHNadzV9w
— Conor O’Toole (@ConorOToole) November 19, 2017
“To conflate a flamboyance and light-hearted personality with what happened is outrageous and it is an insult to the people he has done this to and to anyone who has experienced sexual assault,” comedian Eoin O’Faogain, another alleged victim, told The Times UK.
A separate complaint was raised with Today FM management earlier this year after a musician who appeared on his Today FM radio show said that Porter sent him unsolicited sexual messages via Facebook.
Yesterday, The Times reported that a former psychiatric patient at St Patrick’s also claimed that Porter groped and kissed him while visiting a hospital in 2015.
The unnamed victim, who was being treated for depression met Porter when he visited the Dublin psychiatric hospital for to promote Mental Health Awareness Week. The man, who said Porter “put his hand on my crotch at least twice,” before kissing him, said he did not report the incident for fears of being labelled as homophobic.
The Irish Independent estimates that Porter’s misconduct, which has forced him to resign from his lucrative Today FM radio show (reportedly a €140,000 contract) and a planned a Christmas panto at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, will cost him €400,000. To date, TV3 have yet to announced whether there will be a second series of Blind Date, which was presented by Porter.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.